The American fast-food chain, McDonald’s, has been in hot water recently after a public social media post lifted the lid on expired food on 20 October in a local store.
The store has come under fire for seemingly using expired ingredients, including vegetables, bread, and chicken meat, for its food.
A clandestine video has been circulating on Chinese social media after it was published by an anonymous whistleblower, which appears to have been filmed in the kitchen of the concerned store with uniforms worn by staff members looking similar to McDonald’s.
Although expired food is not clearly being shown in the video, the staff was heard to be saying “mix those veggies with black leaves with fresh ones” and “it doesn’t matter, it’s not me who’s going to eat that”.
While expiry dates are altered to extend preservation duration, food due to being disposed of has been kept to save cost, which leads to a serious concern for the health of consumers.
In a comment responding to the scandal, McDonald’s “thanked the supervision from the public” and said, “food safety is our top priority” and the company is looking into the matter.
More widely, it has “urged” all its chain stores across the country to review their implementation of safeguarding food safety. However, as of the time of writing, it has not specified the store that has got exposed or confirmed any wrongdoings of its chain store.
The scandal does not seem to have changed the Chinese public’s preference for McDonald’s immediately, as it is still the go-to for 40 percent of fast-food consumers. It is followed by KFC (38%) and the Chinese fast-food chain Dicos (4.5%), according to a poll surveying more than 22,000 Chinese.
Public confidence, however, has been diminished as this news has unfolded. While some are disappointed that McDonald’s, as a leading business, failed to set a good example, others are upset to see the company respond with just a comment instead of a formal statement.